My Free Time

The “101”

Everyone deserves some fun and relaxation! It can’t be all about school or work, right?

There are a few words to capture these types of activities—”social,” “recreational,” “extracurricular,” “leisure” and “discretionary” among them. There are almost as many words as types of activities! We’re sticking with “fun.”

The types of fun activities are endless and include sports, making arts or enjoying them, spending time outdoors, playing cards, board games, online games, volunteering, spiritual practice, religious worship, reading, watching TV, listening to music, writing poetry or music, photography, videography, thinking about and planning your future, and you can certainly name dozens more.

Fun activities are good for you! They give you a chance to take a break from responsibilities that cause pressure. They offer opportunities to interact with peers in a fun environment. They give you a chance to be with your family.

Of course, fun activities, like all else in life, have risks associated with them, including injuries, overexposure to sun, distraction from school assignments or job responsibilities, potential hurt feelings if you are left out of a group activity, or a hit to your self-esteem if you don’t feel successful at the activity.

A healthy decision would be to choose fun activities that are safe, inclusive, and different from your responsibilities. What other criteria do you recommend for an activity to be considered fun?

Reflect On It

Write in your journal (download journal) any thoughts you have as you think about this topic, using the questions below:

Learn More

Interest Explorer Check out the Sparks Ideas activity to get you generating ideas about activities that may spark your interest.

Take Action!

Discover Fun Activity Opportunities in Your Community

Ask a friend, a peer, or some adults what they enjoy doing for fun and why. Think about whether you might join them sometime to see if you would like the activity too. Doing something together once or a few times together doesn’t mean you will have to all the time, in case you are concerned about too much mixing of your various social circles.

Don’t skip the fun activities available at your place of learning – school-organized and student-led extracurricular activities abound at high school and at college campuses. Your workplace may have a sports team, occasional after work social events, or service projects.

There are plenty of people in your community with some need or other, and so there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Some communities have “volunteer connector organizations” to match people to volunteer assignments. Or you can go to the JustServe search feature that will help you find a volunteer opportunity near you. Places of spiritual and religious practice offer volunteering, learning, and social activities in addition to prayer and worship.

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